tv Charlie Rose PBS June 14, 2013 12:00pm-1:01pm PDT
>> rose: welcome to the program. tonight james bamford who has written more about nsa than any other journalist talks about the current controversy and what happens to edward snowden. >> rose: do we know what they do or don't know what they do. >> i've written three books on them and still wondering what they do. it's a very very secret organization and again, these revelations show how secret it is. very few people know what they do. nsa, the old joke is it stood for no such agency and internally it stood for never say anything. >> rose: we continue this evening with golfer graeme mcdowell of northern ireland is one of the people to watch at the u.s. open. >> what happens when you miss it? i think we're all partial to one of those. any number of things could happen. i mean the brain can focus on a position or a technique and really lose this kind of
coordination of the hand eye, the strike of the ball. i think any time you can switch the brain off from the technique point of view and really open up that creative part of your brain i think at the top level is really what separates the rounds to get away from trying to practice your back swing all day rather than i want to make this golf ball do this. >> rose: my golf ball do this. >> my brain and body take over all the practice and all the training i went through over the years, it's like the brain sees it, the brain knows how to tell the body how to do it. it really doesn't require a huge amount of thought from the player. he's worked on it, he's practiced and trained it, he should know how to hit that shot. that's really the can of golden chalice really of golf that we're all searching for. >> rose: james bamford and graeme mcdowell when we
>> rose: james bamford is here. he'sing covering nsa for over 30 years. the recent revelation about surveillance programs has put the agency under scrutiny. yesterday general keith alexander the head of the nsa and cyber command testified before congress. james bamford's profile of alexander is on the magazine and saying the surveillance programs are only the beginning. i'm pleased to have james bamford back at this table. welcome. >> good to be here. >> rose: there's much to talk about but just give me your sense of where the question is today about nsa and these surveillance programs. we'll get to snowden later. >> well, the impression the american public had for quite a while was everything was under control and that the abuses of
the bush administration were long gone, and what appears to come about with these new revelations is that they didn't go away they were just stamped legal and continued. >> rose: and enhanced, increased or not. >> exactly. >> rose: i don't know, i'm asking. it was even more and more intensive. >> this went beyond what bush did in some respects. bush did it sort of on an isolated basis going after a number of people but this is wholesale now. they've got apparently if they're tapping into the nine major internet companies, that's more than what bush was doing. >> rose: here's what you wrote. someone whose written many books and articles about the agency i've seldom seen the nsa in such a state like the night procedural with a bag of stolen
goods suddenly caught in powerful light it finds itself under the glare of non-stop press coverage. what will be the end result of this. >> i don't think these a big sense in congress to change anything and i think this isn't during the church committee back in the 70's when everybody did want to change and they wanted to correct it. this is right now it's pretty much they want to keep it going. it's this sort of terror mentality. they look at this as one of the tools. >> rose: the conventional wisdom goes a bit like this, i think. i want somebody in our government to be protecting us, to beth charge of the national security and making sure we don't have 9/11 again. that's part of it. if they have to figure out how to do that, that's what i wanted them to do.
part of that argument goes also by the people within the system. we're not listening in on phone conversations, we're just looking at who is making what call to whom. we've got certain kinds of things we know about and if it's connected to this person we want to know that. >> moot a bill through congress saying this is what we want to do and let's have a dramatic vote on it. that's what they did in england. in england they wanted to do the same thing, they wanted to have the government read the metadata, have the government get the isp's to store all this data and they put a bill through parliament and guess what, it got voted down. and now they're trying to put a vote or through parliament again. the big idea it's a secret and that we don't know they're eavesdropping on the internet is
absurd. yes, we're eavesdropping. >> rose: it isn't a revelation. people are upset about the fact they've been surveillanced. >> nsa thinks everything is secret but the point is that terrorists assumed along even during the bush administration is we eaves dropped on communications. >> rose: had we lost any national security because of this revelation. >> i don't think we've lost, i think we've gain it because the public now has an understanding of what's at stake and what they are giving up for this big counterterrorism program. >> rose: this is interesting and you actually pointed this out to me. i interviewed you in 1982. >> that's right. >> rose: and i asked a question about nsa. this is on a cbs program i did 29 years ago. >> someone came up to you and said james bamford you've reign some 889 pages about the nsa should i worry bit, is there cause for concern here.
>> yes. one thing i should say is first i think the nsa is the most important intelligence agency the united states has. this applies to 85% of our intelligence. the cia supplies 10%. it's a very important agency, however the importance of the agency is only when it's directed externally when all the an ten knows and listening devices are pointed to foreign countries. i don't think it should be turned internally but the listening devices of nsa should be used for domestic surveillance purposes, the equivalent of turning the u.s. army to patrol the streets of the united states. >> rose: how is the organization, that's amazing 29 years ago. >> some things just never change. >> rose: we're sitting at a table. there is the question i asked you about nsa then and i'll ask you now what's changed over these last 19 29 years. >> the nsa has grown
tremendously. it's a mammoth organization. what i write about in this new cover story for wire magazine is how general alexander now has become the most powerful person in the history of the u.s. intelligence community. he's a four star general in charge of the largest intelligence agency on earth. now he's also in charge of cyber command which puts him in charge of three mill tree organizations. the second army, the 24th air force and the 10th fleet of the navy. this is a person that if you walked down pennsylvania avenue in washington you won't even recognize. not even the people in congress maybe. he's very talented in terms of technology and he spent his whole career basically in the signals intelligence and the nsa aspect. what's interesting was he was a
plebe at west point with general petraeus and the joints chiefs of staff. you have these three people who managed to join in 1974 or rather, they graduated from west point in 1974 and now they're pretty much running the national security side of government at least they were until general petraeus left. now it's martin dempsey who is chairman. >> rose: when you look at nsa today and their activities, what is it, do you think we know what they do or don't know what they do? >> well, i've written three books on them and i'm still wondering what they do. so it's a very very secret organization and again, these revelations show how secret it is. very few people know what they do. nsa, the old joke is it stood for no such agency and internally it stood for never say anything. >> rose: what capabilities does it have. >> well that's the thing. for the first time now when
they've got cyber command, they've got the most powerful cyber offensive weapons on earth, at least they've used them. the only one that's used them is called cyber kinetic warfare. you use cyber not just to say erase a computer or plant a virus but to actually destroy something. so they destroyed these centrifuges in iran using sighberg. it was a dam in russia that killed people. it wasn't cyber warfare. the cyber went to this dam and because of that it exploded and the turbine which weighs as much
as two 747's blow up seven stories into the air and destroyed the whole facility. killed 75 people. there's a lot of damage that can be done if you manipulate cyber the right way because so much of what goes on today is connected to the internet. >> rose: when you look at the virus case, what was nsa's role in that? >> well, there are three groups involved pretty much. nsa's role was to develop the cyber capabilities to exploit what was going on inside there. in other words, map everything, all the cyber activity, map what the computers are all about inside the iranian nuclear development plan. and the cia actually developed the warhead that destroyed the centrifuges and the israelis helped get the mal ware, the
viruses and the cyber warhead basically across the gap. the gap is what separates the computers on the inside from the outside world. in other words, you can't send something there over the internet because they had this sort of an air gap. and they were able to get somebody, an iranian inside to plant this stuff. >> rose: exactly. the fbi chief robert muller today testified that the nsa phone surveillance could, phone surveillance they're doing could have given the u.s. the opportunity to prevent the 9/11 attacks. >> well actually, i wrote a whole book about how the u.s. already had the ability to prevent the 9/11 attacks. >> rose: they were communicating with each other. >> yes, they were communicating with each other and i did a
documentary on pbs. the nsa was already intercepting two of the terrorists, two of the highjackers. they were listening to their communications. the problem was they never shared it with the fbi, they never shared it with the cia or the state department. they were picking up the information, so they had at the time 9/11 they had enough information. and so every time they have something that goes wrong, they say well we need more. >> rose: it couldn't happen today because they fixed the problem with communication between agencies. >> that's right, yes. >> rose: less likely would be a better way to phrase it. >> if is the the same circumstances, nsa would be passing the information now to all the relevant parties, fbi, state department. >> rose: what do you think of -- >> to see a person rise from no formal education, in other words didn't even graduate from high school, to a position where he's
getting $125,000 and a nice job in hawaii working at nsa and he's only 29, and at the same time he has access to information across the board. he had information sort of over the wall at cyber command. because that was one of the documents he released. he had information that's largely in the general counsel's office which is the order from the foreign intelligence surveillance court. and then he had the slides from the operational side, the signals intelligence side which he probably would have logically had access to. but then he could not only gather that but somehow get that out of the nsa without anybody nogales it. it's quite extraordinary. >> rose: people are like limb that have kind of access. >> well there's a great many. what happened was before 11 the policy was we keep everything very secret. you're working on a project and i don't know what it is and i'm work ongoing a project and you don't know what i'm working on.
because of 9/11 this whole idea that we had 9/11 because nobody shared anything, then that policy changed where now i know what you're working on and you know what i'm working on. and that's across the intelligence community, to the large extent. so now we can share things and one of the dangers that what happens when everything's sharing everything and everybody has access to everybody else's information in that if you have a spy in the organization it's really bad. i'm not saying he was a spy, i'm just saying by people having access across the board, you run the risk if somebody if they take out the information they've got a lot more than you expect they'll have. >> rose: let me talk about the cyber industrial complex, this idea of many defense contractors were in this game now, it's very important, people talk about it may be the next phase of warfare in the world. >> sure. >> rose: give me a sense of
that, the complex that exists there in the cyber warfare game. >> well, nsa's a huge facility. it's a whole city out in fort mead and now they're expanding it by a third. they're building i think 14 new buildings, ten new parking garages, new huge super computer center all just for cyber. now all of the defense contractors that were making lots of money by walkerring on the wars in iraq and then afghanistan, the next big thing now is cyber so they're all building up new cyber buildings. so if you go to nsa, if you're driving down washington parkway and on the right there's a big city for nsa hidden behind trees, on the left is another city across the road and that's where all the contractors are. they each have these huge buildings. so nsa has an enormous
industrial base, and a lot of what people assume nsa does is actually done by contractors. people that companies nobody's ever heard of or sitting there with earphones on listening just like the nsa people. >> rose: mr. snowden worked for a contractor didn't he. >> exactly. that's the way a lot of them do it. now we have this new phase, we have the contractors who are involved in cyber warfare. in writing the article the wired article about how you can look in these newspapers, these technical newspapers and there's adds for companies nobody's ever heard of that are advertising for signal or for computer attack specialists and computer exploitation specialists and so forth. because they're outsourcing the cyber war to the private industry. >> rose: are you surprised we haven't seen more disclosures like snowden. >> pretty much. but the point is, we have seen a number. there's been in the last eight years we've seen seven or eight
years we've seen three to four cases like this. i mean we saw manning and we saw "the whistleblower" when it came to the warrantless eavesdropping wiretapping program. so in the small period of time seven years we've seen between three and four of these incidents. before that you have to go back almost to dan ellisberg in the 70's to see it. what you see is more people are being exposed to things they think are questionable in a democracy or questionable in the united states. i interviewed for wired last year bill benning, for example. and he was a senior official. he designed pretty much the whole eavesdropping system. he spent 40 years there almost and he was a senior official, are the equivalent of a general. and he told me basically the same thing verbally what mr. snowden said. >> rose: what snowden said
compromise u.s. national security. >> i don't think it does. the fact that the public now knows that the government is gathering all our telephone records on a daily basis, i don't think that compromises our security and i don't think the fact that you know that you believe the fact the nine major internet companies are cooperating with the government. >> rose: the obvious follow up with that is, does mr. snowden know thing that could compromise national security. >> i'm sure he does. >> rose: how do we know he's not going to tell those too. >> well we don't, that's the point. >> rose: is he likely to. >> i have no idea. >> rose: do you think he's talking to other governments. >> not, no, no. >> rose: he's in hong kong. >> again, i don't know anymore about him than you know. >> rose: you know the players in this game better than i do or other people. >> i don't think so. just from, you know. >> rose: you don't think he's talking to other governments at all. >> no. >> rose: do you think he's a
patriot? >> yes, i think he is. i think he's a patriot because these are things -- >> rose: and therefore do you think he's a hero to follow that, i guess. >> i think he's done something courageous. if you look back at dan ellisberg, everybody was blaming him back in those days for being a traitor because he gave away secret documents how we got into the war of iraq. now he's being looked at as a hero. he should be. >> rose: the war in vietnam. >> i mean the war in vietnam. so who knows how this is going to turn out. we're looking at this through a microcosm through today. five years from now who nods -- knows but right now the fact is the nsa is doing something that a lot of people don't think they should be doing. this is a democracy. >> rose: i'm caught by this fact. you said that a high state official told you. you knew all that mr. snowden has released. then why is all this, why is
everybody up in arms about u.s. security being compromised and mr. snowden now i'm sure that the federal government and the fbi probably figuring out how they can get their hands on it wouldn't you think so. >> yes, the big difference is when these people tell me these things, i've been reporting things like this for years, is that the general alexander for example after the wired story came out last year and bill benny was talking about how nsa was getting all the verizon metadata and everything else, general alexander came out basically and said that's not true. we don't do that we don't have anything to do with american communications. we don't get involved with american communications at all. we don't gather american data. >> rose: these disclosures make what general alexander said a lie. >> exactly. and so that's what makes this powerful is the fact that snowden sees that. snowden sees that other people come out, they blow the whistle on these same things and nothing
happens because the administration or general alexander comes out and says it's not true. how do i prove this? well i got to take the documents and the documents will show that what we're saying is really true. so that's the next step. >> rose: so he did break the law. >> of course. >> rose: so he broke the law, that's one thing. but you know, many columnists that i've seen from jeffrey tuben and brooks, the idea was this the only way to accomplish the goal that he intended to accomplish. was there a better way either through the system or not. was there a better way to engage what he hoped would be a fact that you already knew? >> a lot of these people, i don't know exactly where he went inside, whether he tried to protest inside or not, i don't know. but a number of the whistle blowers i talked to
including adrian kennedy wrote about. she was an army intercept operator down in georgia which is where their big listening post is for listening in the middle east and she told me how she was listening on the american journalists. so they were eavesdropping on american journalists among other people, talking to their spouses at home and so forth. and she didn't like it because she was there. >> rose: i mean that's not what they're saying today about what mr. snowden is saying or not. i mean has he suggested that they are listening in on the conversations american citizens, american journalists, american politicians. >> no. but what i'm saying is she complained. she was saying that to me back then. this is back in the days after 9/11 but what she did was she complained all the way up the chain of command. she even complained to the senate intelligence committee and nobody paid attention to her. that's the only reason she ended up talking to me was because nobody paid attention to her
that there's no law allowing her to eavesdrop on american journalists. so a lot of these whistle blowers and i don't know about mr. snowden, but they all go through the chain of command and there's nothing done that's where they're whistle blowers. >> rose: i was talking to people you know and i said what ought, a lot of people think we need to have a debate about this. >> sure. including the president. >> rose: including the president. what should the debate be. you spent a great part of your journalistic career looking at that. >> the question should be should the nsa have access to every american's phone information on a daily basis. if i pick up the phone and call my grandmother or somebody picks up their phone and calls their child or whatever, should a record of that be made, be sent
immediately to nsa. for storage forever, who knows how long. >> rose: then the second question is should the nsa be able to find out who, if there is someone that they're watching and have reason to believe is engaged in some terrorist activity, should the nsa be able to figure out from the phone companies and the internet providers who that person is phoning or who that person is in contact through any means possible electronically? >> well not through any means possible. they should do it legally and there are certain rules and regulations about how you do that. and it's very formalized. it worked out fine for many years. and then they decided that they've got to start turning nsa inward on the american public. and if you want to do that, then i'd say half of public debate like they did in england and let's hear the pros and cons ad
make decisions. >> rose: have new laws. >> yes. let the debate take place in public and we never would have even had this discussion if snowden didn't do his little act there. and now you have the president even saying that we need a debate on this. as i said, the other places have had debated whether to allow the government access to this type of information. i don't know why a democracy can't make those decisions. >> rose: is this the age old question between security and liberty, i mean security and liberty. >> i think it's the key question between security and liberty. where does liberty and security begin and how much liberty do you want to give up for the sake of security. it's very ironic in this country here where we're talking about going to the extent of getting everybody's communications maybe find a terrorist here or there when at the same time anybody can walk into a gun store and
buy as many assault weapons as you want. the amount of people that die in terrorists incidents compared to the amount of people that day every year, 50,000 or whatever in gun violence because we're such a gun-on oriented country, there's no comparison. yet there's very little effort to try to regulate the gun industry and gun control in this country and there's all this effort to try to find terrorists going into our telephone records and so forth and you can barely get, you can barely get anybody to vote for gun edge administration and so forth. there's a disconnect there for some reason. one causes more 10,000 times more deaths than the other, and you can't get something as simple as gun registration.
the other one i think there's 23 people that have died in terrorist incidences since 9/11 and there you've got to have everybody's telephone records given up. >> rose: thank you. >> may pleasure. thanks charlie. >> rose: glad to have you back. back in a moment. stay with us. graeme mcdowell is here, he's currently ranked as the 8th best golfer in the world. in 2010, that's right the 8th best player in the world. he won at pebble beach becoming the first man in northern ireland to win the championship. he went the winning putt that propelled europe to the rider cup. i'm pleased to have him at this table for the first time. welcome. what is it about northern ireland and breeds all you great golfers. >> that's a great question. we've had three major champions in the last three or four years from a small country one
and-a-half million people which is mathematically pretty outstanding. i think it's the accessibility of the game of golf, you know. i think britain and ireland golf is around globally a very elite game. requires a little money to play the game of golf. we're lucky in britain and ireland. i don't think i would have played the game of golf when mom and dad were working class people. thankfully the game of golf was affordable for 150 bucks a year i could be a member of a golf club and have all the golf i could ever want and need. i believe that britain and ireland, we have that all over which really helps guys develop and really breeds junior golfers and that's kind of why we've enjoyed. >> rose: is that true throughout europe or mainly -- >> i speak for britain and ireland. obviously i played all over europe and all over the world. i see that model kind of trying to be replicated. the game of golf is still a little bit too elitist. >> rose: i couldn't agree more. >> it has that wealthy stigma attached to the game of golf and
it's important that we try to get rid of that. i think the olympics in 2016 releasing funding all over the world really helped drive this game forward and i'm trying to shake off that kind of elitist tag line that we have. >> rose: when did you pick up a club. >> first time i picked up a club i was probably four, five years old. i grew up on the north coast of ireland the beautiful town of port rush and very lucky to have kind of one of the motion amazing golf courses in the world at my doorstep. it was inevitable that i would try the game of golfer at some point. i picked it up four, five six years old. started seriously in my early teens and new that i loved the game, new that i loved the competitive element and knew that i wanted to be better. i continued to strive to get better and luckily i managed to be able to follow my dream and be making a living at the game i love. >> rose: when did you know that you had the stuff to be able to compete on the tour? >> you know, it was probably fairly late on. i felt i was a reasonably late
bloomer. 16, 17 years old i was a good player but not a great player. i was in the top 15-20 kids in ireland. i knew that i wanted to come to the states. i remember one of those college golf bags with the logo emblazened on the side. i remember seeing one of those for the first time and i said i want one on those. i want to come and play college golf in america. i came out here for three years to the university of alabama at birmingham. >> rose: why there. >> well a lot of people have asked me. how does a kid from a small town in ireland end up in birmingham alabama. they chose me, the coach there, alan kaufmann made a phone call to me one evening when i was at college back home and said to me would you like to come and play college golf for uab. i said where's that. he said come out and see us, check us out and i knew right that second that's where i wanted to be. i was very lucky.
birmingham had two of the very, well few very important components required to develop as a college player. they had great facilities, great climate and we had a great schedule. i was lucky i fell on my feet there at uab. it's a small school maybe not one of the more well-known schools here in the states but i lucked out. it was a big turning point in my life. >> rose: how long have you known rory. >> i remember the first day i arhed rory. i can't remember where it was. there was a big game at my home course a big amateur event called the north of ireland national championship and he showed up 61 at the golf club. >> rose: that had your attention. >> i said come again, 61. really. he was 15 felt and i thought okay, there are kids coming and going but this kid's the real dear. one of the first times i ever played golf with him was the downhill links championship back in scottland. we had to practice together. we played for a few bucks.
i shelfed 68 a young whipper snapper had the cash. they were running about 65 and i thought okay this kid's pretty good. >> rose: that's good you had somebody you could play against. >> he's been, i feel like we've motivated each other. after the practice run you feel demoralized about your game. es like guy it look too easies. he plays the game with a right attitude. he's a great role model for any young kids out there wanting to learn how to play the game with the right add to do and the right love. he bounces around the course, get the right really. >> rose: most of the time. >> he plays fast and well swings the club beautifully. he's strong and powerful. he's five eight. he flies at 230 and 330. >> rose: and you.
>> i'm sort of a mediocre 285 through the air. i'm probably, it's an area of my game that i looked at in the off season. i felt like it was going to weaken what was good when my game. i'm very accurate i'm a great iron player and short iron player. i decided i have to look at these kids whip by me. that's part of life for me. rory is five eight, 150, 160 pounds. >> rose: and you are. >> i'm like five 10, 175 pounds. i'm an old man. he's got ten years on me. 33, used to be golf was prime time was in your 30's. i'm not really sure where prime time and golf is anymore. late teens, 20's. guys in there early 40's. >> rose: you could have added 20 yards to your tee.
>> i could have. i had to no myself at it a little bit more. >> rose: you were worried it would upset the rhythm and the timing of your ground game or your iron game. >> for sure. i remember the great coach bob torence. a great guy. he said you never want to strengthen your weakness. never strengthen a weakness if it ends up weakening your strengths. i felt like by trying to get longer i was going to probably my short iron play, my accuracy off the tee everything that made me the player was going to be detrimental to that part of the game. i'm a great medium to short iron player. >> rose: you were at the top of the game in terms of fairways. >> fairways had proximity from the hole on those fairways those are my strengths. yes i would like to move 120 yards off the tee but changing my swing changing my body, the
dynamics of my golf swing through the impact area i was probably going to weaken my strength. >> rose: and the expression -- >> exactly. i decided to leave that alone. >> rose: what's happening to him. he's hit a rough patch. >> he's going through a transition phase. he's taken the world by storm in the last few years and taking it in stride as well. unbelievable. kind of rise to fame for him on how easy he's made it all look. i think with every career in life business sport whatever we do, we're all going to from time to time take a little bit of time to climatize. when you're on such a steep curve of excellence sometimes you got to kind of sit back and learn and climatize. he's just a quick kid from a working class family in northern ireland from a small part of world and you're signing multimillion dollar deals with companies like nike. there's pressure that comes with that the pressure he puts on
himself. he's just a climatizing right now. he still swings amazing and it won't be long until he's winning. >> rose: he'll get it back. >> he gets it back. >> rose: tiger's got it back. >> great for the game of golf to have tiger woods playing well again. we all read and we all understand the financial model of golf when tiger woods is playing and when tiger woods is not playing. i think we had a few years to learn that golf was a very healthy for the ticker but now he's back and playing well again i think the game is even stronger. more people watch, there's more balls more media attention and more companies interested and want to get involved in golf. i think the game's in good shape right now. >> rose: i did an hour with arnie palmer as you know and somebody said to me every golfer who followed palmer should give him 20% of everything they earned because of what he did for the game. he was important to the game. tiger's important to the game. jack was important to the game. >> for sure.
>> rose: people who really somehow symbolized the game. >> certainly the last 50 years where the game of golf has really morphed into 21st century game we know and love. you look at the hogans and the bobby jones but more into the financial tv media, just a real booming golf. you look at jack and arnie. arnie really, he was the pioneer. >> rose: charismatic. >> he really took this game to the next level. and then follow that in with a savvies and the faldo and great european contingent to go with the fred couples and o'meara's. it has increased exponentially. like you say the golfers that follow in the wake of tiger woods perhaps give him a percentage what he's making right now because he certainly has created the game that we're
all love so much. and make a great living from. it's a great sport and we have to work hard and there's no guarantees in this game but we're certainly in a great era. >> rose: you won the u.s. open so you've had a major. how do you compare that to the rider cup. >> uncompareable. the three great experiences i've had in my career so far by the three ryder cups i've played. >> are the europeans still different about it than americans. >> i think perhaps the europeans feel slightly more passionate about the ryder cup because the americans it gets a little watered down for them because they play the rider cup presence cup. but year after year after year. and i mean it gets watered down a little for them. we wait every two years to tee up in the ryder cup and it's america and the blue versus the red. we're passionate about it but i think the americans theme has a
young crop of new blood, the bobbers and rickys and keyingen and the dustin johnson. they're passionate when it. has an injection of kind of energy and exassignment. no disrespect to the tigers and phil's. you respect those guys. they've been playing ryder cups and presence cups in the last 15 years and not missing one of those. for that to get warred down a little bit in the way they feel about it is it's inevitable but i think the ryder cup's an amazing experience. win, loser draw is the most amazing sporting experience to be part of it. >> rose: you had it then too. >> i did. something happened in chicago. it was a collective effort from europe we held some pucks and what an amazing sport. >> rose: is that to your
liking. >> i'm actually going tomorrow and i'm very excited to get back there. it's 7,000 yards which is very short by modern standards. >> rose: is it made for your game if it's short so that precision is more important. >> for sure. i think u.s. open golf courses typically fall into a guy, you know, guy like who has my type of game precision off the tee good iron player and a good scrambler, a guy who is really good at making his power saves. definitely if i play well at marriott i feel i can compete. some golf courses i get to, i see that you're requiring 350 yard bomb off the tee and sometimes i get there i know even if i did play well i might not compete. but -- >> rose: what course is like that. >> i look at a place like perhaps the phoenix open where j.b. holmes won back to back there. that's enough said. >> rose: exactly. >> it really just depends on course set up. the firmer faster the better for
a guy like me who is not that long. >> rose: because of the roll. >> because of the roll. and premium on being on the short stuff to be able to control your second shots coming from the faster element when the grain gets firm on this table and as fast as this table you need to be having a little bit of spin and some control coming out of the fairways. >> rose: do you hit it high if you come into a hard surface. >> you want to be hitting it high but with your five iron in your hand it's hard to control that type of surface. the firmer and faster you're trying to flag the ball higher, a little bit more stint. i'm hoping for deep rough. >> rose: why deep rough. >> just premium accuracy. i think mike davis, the ceo of the usga he's done great things with the u.s. open over the last ten years. bringing and graduated rough meaning that if he just missed the fair way you don't find that couple yards of terror where you wish you had missed 15 yards where the specific tairts you
but he started to graduate the rough which is great. i'm excited to see the set up and like i say if i play good i can compete. >> rose: did you compete better if you're chasing somebody or if you're out front? >> you know, i really haven't had the pleasure of being too far out front in many families. most of my wins have been battling wins. i'd like to give it ago being five clear going to the last round. that will be fun. give me that shot any time soon. there is the leading and defend, trying to defend the lead. you know obviously the best players in the world a guy like tiger who is one of the best front runners maybe ever, how do you attack a golf course when you're leading. you have to take shots on when it's necessary and know when to defend and back off but try to
play positively to conserve the targets at time. i went on to one at the rbc heritage which was a lot of fun. >> rose: four shots back. >> four shots back on sunday on a tough windy day and i just played my game and watched the leaders kind of come back to me. i'm not a leader board watcher in that scenario i just like to try to keep my head down execute my game plan as well as i possibly can and perhaps with seven or eight holes to go and them react accordingly. >> rose: and do you try to play within yourself like that. in other words rather than simply letting it rip, you're playing within yourself. you're hitting it at 85%. >> for sure. i think very rarely does a top player go a hundred percent at anything. i think a rhythm like you say the old cliche play within yourself is kind of an 80/85% swing, good rhythm. like i say just being aggressive when you come weighing up it's a risk reward scenario.
you just got to kind of weigh up the risks and ask yourself is it worth it to help you weigh those things up. >> rose: what do they do. >> caddy's, i think players rely different appears on caddies. there are certain plays out there that do it themselves. a caddy is not much more than a bag carrier. a guy like me, i have a huge relationship with my caddy. he's been on my bag for seven years now. he's a guy i rely on to help me, to help understand me, help understand the way my brain works, the way my golf swing works the way my emotions work. when i'm under pressure. a guy to kind of make me laugh and get out of the moment when i need. >> rose: i don't know if this would ever happen but you look at where you want to go and you say to yourself this is a five, it's a five. and then you go back and he hands you four. do you listen or do you what?
>> we will have a debate about whether that is a four or five iron. frankly it doesn't happen often. we will very often, we go through a procedure of analyzing a shot and it's 160 yards. it's back into the wind playing 170, it's up hill it's playing 175 the green is firmer trying to pitch 170. we go through this kind of mathematical calculation and then eventually we will pick a flight and a shape. sometimes though the player will see something, will feel a shae or shot and very rarely do i overrules. it doesn't happen very often. >> rose: the great thing about golf the better you get the more interesting the game becomes. i think treaties true about most things whether it's golf or whatever you do professionally. the sense is that in golf though, you really know where your club is at every moment.
>> yes, hopefully. >> rose: and you're guiding the bottom. it's a bit like from people who don't play golf it really is a sense that you know the kind of pitch you're going to throw and you know where you've got to go and sort of take that ball and really play with it like you're a magician. >> for sure i think when you get to a certain level, anything, any sport, any kind of hobby, any hand eye coordination sport there's nothing better than the feeling of seeing it with a brain and then just replicating exactly what you've just done. >> rose: what happens when you miss it. >> what happens when you miss it? i think we're all partial to one of those even the follow players miss shots. any number of things could happen. the brain can focus on a position or a technique and really lose kind of that coordination of the hand eye, the strike of the ball. so i think any time you can switch the brain off from the technique point of view and really open up that creative part of your brain, i think at
the top level it's really what separates the beses from the also rounds being able to get away from trying to practice your back swing all day rather than i want to make this golf ball do this. my brain and my body take over all the practice and all the training that i went through over the years, it's like the brain sees it, the brain knows how to tell the body how to do it. it really doesn't require a huge amount of thought from the player. he's worked on it, he's practiced and trained it, he should instinctively know how to hit that shot. that's really the can of golden alcohol es -- chalis of golf we're working for. >> rose: some players i interviewed say to me that the practice tee the range is really good for them. they really can work things out. i know other guys have said to me i don't want to spend much time there, i learn everything that's important to me about golf on the course.
i learned by playing. >> yes. i'm a second guy. i'm the guy who probably fall into the trough a little bit the last couple years becoming a little bit of a range junkie. really trying to compress my practice time into more disciplined i'm going to work on my wedges, i'm going to chip, putt, i'm going to work on my long game going to get my launch right, work on my driver flight. you lose the art of playing the game. it's a bit like we're talking about, you start to practice all these techniques and positions and you forget about what golf is. it's about making the golf ball go from a to b in a certain shape or certain ball flight. >> rose: and the way the club hits the ball. >> exactly and the scoring. the art of scoring, art of chipping, putting getting the ball in the hole. i learned most of my good stuff on the golf course, playing and competing with friends, at a high level whatever. >> rose: you have swing thoughts. >> i have swing thoughts. i typically can't play the game without approximately three.
i like a take away trigger, i like a transitional trigger and i like a little kind of impact, post impact feel. >> rose: those take away triggers are what. >> take away trigger might be outside and wide. >> rose: outside and wide. >> transition thought is typically smooth. don't rush. and impact my be keep the chest down stay in the shot. really don't rush it, stay in the shot really. two or three simple nothing two technical, simple rhythmical positive thoughts really and try to switch the brain off, get out of your own way, that old cliche. >> rose: are there golfers are surprised that you're good there but not impressed with their swing. >> there's plenty. i probably categorized myself as a guy who maybe doesn't have, you know, they're not going to use my golf swing. they're not going to teach my
swing to kids you know -- beautiful beautiful golf swings that i wish i could swing the club like that. but there's guys like myself, jim fewerric, guys that will jump off at the u.s. having any syncratic golf swings but understands their own swings personally, know how to get the ball in the hole and play the game very effectively. >> thank you for joining us. >> thanks for having me. >> rose: graeme mcdowell heading for the u.s. open in marion pennsylvania. we'll be right back. stay with us. >> well i choked is probably the main reason. i had it in the palm of my hands and i just sort of like missing free throws. it was like watching shaq a free-throw they end. i blew it. >> rose: you won a grand slam at 26 years old didn't you.
>> no, i did not. that's it for another, you should come back and have me because we probably need about half hour to talk about that. >> rose: have you thought about that. >> i thought about it. i mean i actually took time off when i was 27. i had my first son who is now 27 years old. so at that particular time, i believe i could juggle family. i'm no longer with my exwife tate actual o'neill we had three kids. it's pretty tough. roger federerer had twins. >> rose: people said he would be distracted and he would fall. he didn't. >> it's dishow much time to spend with your kids how much time are you going to be with your wife, how much time are you going to train. it's very difficult. >> rose: how good was jimmy. >> jimmy was incredible. i like people to have a lot of effort. guys that identify respect are guys like nadal, guys like
michael chang. >> rose: mike connors. >> exactly. no matter how hard i was trying i looked at the other side of the net and i saw a guy who was trying harder than me. and i thought this son of a bitch is trying harder than me at every single point but it made me a lot better player. i had to try harder and he was so intense. everything was life or death. and then he would manage which i never did. see i managed to have the greatest round of applause before a match to be unbelievable. by the end of the match everyone's booing me. that's quite a quality john. >> rose: here you are saying the guys you respect are the guys who worked the hardest, practiced the hardest, cared more about winning. and yet i think you have said that if you had worked harder at it you might have won more. >> that's why i have probably a little bid of a love/hate relationship with myself. >> rose: you do.
>> i do. i mean, i've had a great life so as the father of six i try to sort of say to myself look are you going to look at the glass half empty half full at this point. and there's a lot of good things. so rather than say i blew the french and i should have trained harder at times or should have done this, i've tried to look at it like look i have now u.s. opens, three wimbledon. people say i'm a better commentator than i was a player. for many years i was like, what, are you kidding me. so now i realize that was a compliment. captioning sponsored by rose communications captioned by media access group at wgbh access.wgbh.org